Dropping pennies


If you had been in my vicinity early on Thursday of last week you may just have detected the extremely faint sound of a coin droppping.

When I was a about eleven years old I used to play those shuffle penny games in the local amusement arcade. There were the one and two penny ones and for the more daring there was a ten pence versions. I never went near the silver coins!

The lure of pointless prizes and larger paper money perched on the upper shelf was a great draw. I tend to think that thread was holding them up there never to fall.

I could spend hours trying to guess which slot would be the best to try and coax a line of coins to drop on to the lower shelf and into my waiting hands. It was with some incredulity that this concept appeared on our television screen as a game show concept, I couldn’t even bring myself to stoop the the level of the thought process that pitched this as entertainment. Such must be the disdain for the public that the idea made it past all of the executives.

I have researched the origins of this penny dropping phrase without any great degree of satisfaction, no conclusion is agreed upon.

That aside, back to last Thursday.

Deep in my brain things were not happy, I have been incubating some life threatening virus which will send my temperature control out of whack at the slightest movement. As soon as this phase is over we plummet to ridiculously Arctic temperatures and thus the day has passed for a week or so.

If you read these with any regularity you will know my battle with depression is a prolonged one, when such viruses arrive at my door and sneak through the letter box they upset my mental equilibrium like some absurd bonus ball.

Seeing this approaching turmoil, and having tried for the best part of two years to avert chaos, my little watchtower siren let out a loud wail. This brings us neatly back to seven thirty am last Thursday when I approached my manager for permission to depart. He was very gracious and I retreated home to my cave to regroup.

Harper Lee chose the interesting title for her second novel of “Go set a watchman.” The place that her first book has in my life is embedded, but this second installment has not yet even been completed. The title, however is very applicable for me in these days. Listening ┬áto that inner watchman has averted a bleak disaster, the inflammation that has accompanied this virus has knocked the stabilisers off of their perch and had I not listened this week would have looked very different.

I understand those who push on and ignore their bodies crying out for help, I was that soldier for too many years. Perhaps things are now finally changing and NO is entering vocabulary to protect what I have learned.


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